A gang of Romanians, members of the same family from Vâlcea, terrorized California. The criminals were using old-fashioned theft methods to prey on the elderly in San Diego, unaccustomed to such tricks.
They sometimes resorted to violence to snatch people’s valuables. They thus accumulated a fortune of 1.4 million dollars, which they sent to the country.
The Ghiocel clan originates from Râmnicu Vâlcea, where the Romanian police also descended, at the request of the FBI. Many of the family members are in America and are being targeted by a large-scale investigation.
Judicial authorities in San Diego received several complaints in which people told how they were stripped of jewelry, watches and money. Individuals would approach them on the street, say they were from Dubai and lost, and ask for help. They took advantage of their carelessness to steal valuables from them.
Luke Johnson, San Diego Police: “Most of the time they would ask them how to get to the nearest church or tell them they’ve been through some trauma, robbery, something happened to their family and to pray for them .”
When the more vigilant seniors retaliated, the criminals resorted to violence, as can be seen from the images captured by the surveillance cameras in a quiet neighborhood where more Asians live.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Adeline Schulberg: “Sometimes they would use force, but most of the time what they would do was go up to people and offer to sell them some kind of fake jewelry to put on them, then they’d steal the jewelry true.”
Those who appear to be the heads of the clan – Eduard and Floarea Ghiocel – have already been arrested. They had entered the United States through Mexico with false documents after being deported in the past, also due to crimes. San Diego police are now looking for their children, as well as other relatives involved in the thefts and robberies. The Americans asked the Romanian authorities for help.
DCCO Officer: “Members of the organized crime group have been involved in committing dozens of diversionary thefts to the detriment of American citizens, generally the elderly.”
The investigation carried out in California shows that members of the Ghiocel clan falsely obtained unemployment benefits from the American authorities during the pandemic, to which they were not entitled. They thus accumulated an impressive fortune.
DCCO officer: “The members of the group transferred to Romania from the USA part of the stolen jewelry worth 120 thousand dollars and from the profit they bought gold bars and coins estimated by the American authorities at 732 thousand US dollars but also more luxury cars.”
During the raids carried out in Romania, organized crime police officers seized 3 luxury cars, one of which is worth over 300,000 dollars. 5 FBI agents also participated in the takedowns.
Source: PROTV news
Publication date: 16-03-2023 17:06